PhenoVation wins Venture Challenge Spring 2011
€25,000 for innovative technology to enhance yield and quality
of greenhouse crops
Utrecht, June 7, 2011
LifeSciences@work Event in Utrecht, start-up company PhenoVation was
named the winner of the Venture Challenge Spring 2011. Using
PhenoVation's innovative CropReporter, the yield and quality of crops
can be enhanced by specifically tuning the climate settings in
greenhouses to reflect real-time information on crop performance.
PhenoVation is a spin-out from the Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture
research institute at Wageningen University and Research Centre.
greenhouses are fitted out with advanced sensor technology to maintain
the climate settings defined by the grower, who mainly builds on own
experience and observations of the crops. The latter implies that
feedback on crop performance only becomes visible after days or even
weeks. Finding the optimal climate settings is still largely a matter of
trial and error. PhenoVation introduces a method that employs real-time
information on crop performance, which allows the grower to adjust
climate settings immediately. PhenoVation's CropReporter continuously
measures the activity of photosynthesis in the crop. Photosynthesis is
the energy generating process in plants and is a leading indicator of
crop yield and quality. Having access to real-time information on
photosynthesis provides growers with unprecedented opportunities for
increasing the yield and quality of crops as well as for saving energy.
According to the jury of the Venture Challenge Spring 2011 – a set of
workshops for new ventures in the life sciences – PhenoVation is based
on a very elegant concept, while building on a strong technological and
commercial basis. The jury was particularly impressed by PhenoVation's
clear focus on the needs of the clients, which is underlined by the
involvement of two lead customers in the development track.
"This shows that PhenoVation is aware of what is needed to turn their
technological breakthrough into a commercially viable product", says
Carine van den Brink, Chairman of the jury. "Furthermore, their
technology offers interesting opportunities for a variety of
applications in both greenhouse horticulture, as well as retail
"The competition during the Venture Challenge was intense, so it is a
pleasant surprise that we won", says Henk Jalink, Future CEO of PhenoVation.
The team, which also includes Rob van der Schoor, Vincent Jalink and Jan
Meiling, plans to put the Venture Challenge prize money of €25,000
towards establishing proof-of-principle of their CropReporter technology.
For more information:
Chrétien Herben |
Netherlands Genomics Initiative | T +31 70 344 0959 |
Henk Jalink | PhenoVation | T +31 317 480 844 |
About the Venture Challenge
The Venture Challenge offers advice and coaching on essential
elements of setting up
a life sciences business. In two 3-day workshops, participating teams
are continuously challenged by the facilitators and each other to
streamline their business plan and improve their 'pitch'. The team with
the best business plan and pitch is awarded €25,000 to further develop
Venture Challenge is one of the
Netherlands Genomics Initiative’s
activities aimed at
stimulating and supporting Life Sciences
researchers in translating their inventions into
viable business ideas.